Congratulations to Dr. Han for his joint paper (this work is led by Prof. Liu at National University of Singapore) published in Nature Materials!

Tuning Upconversion through Energy Migration in Core-Shell Nanoparticles

Photon upconversion is promising for applications such as biological imaging, data storage or solar cells. Here, we have investigated upconversion processes in a broad range of gadolinium-based nanoparticles of varying composition. We show that by rational design of a core–shell structure with a set of lanthanide ions incorporated into separated layers at precisely defined concentrations, efficient upconversion emission can be realized through gadolinium sublattice-mediated energy migration for a wide range of lanthanide activators without long-lived intermediary energy states. Furthermore, the use of the core–shell structure allows the elimination of deleterious cross-relaxation. This effect enables fine-tuning of upconversion emission through trapping of the migrating energy by the activators. Indeed, the findings described here suggest a general approach to constructing a new class of luminescent materials with tunable upconversion emissions by controlled manipulation of energy transfer within a nanoscopic region.